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  • Writer's pictureGabriel Roy-Wright

Feeling Disconnected? Maybe your Rituals of Connection Need a Tweak? 

I'll frequently ask couples "so what are your rituals of connection?" and often receive a blank stare. So I thought it might be nice to explain exactly what a ritual of connection is, and how they contribute to relationship satisfaction, and how a lack of them can contribute to relationship dissatisfaction.. Let's look at the What, Why, and How of these rituals.

First the technical overview in counsellor speak: 

Building and maintaining a strong, satisfying relationship involves more than just shared experiences and communication. "Rituals of Connection" are intentional, meaningful activities or habits that couples engage in regularly to deepen their connection and strengthen their bond. These rituals play a crucial role in fostering relationship satisfaction and emotional intimacy.

Ok so thats the “What” explained.

 Let me now explore the “Why” or basically, the importance of rituals of connection:

  1. Emotional Connection: Rituals provide dedicated time for couples to connect emotionally, fostering a sense of intimacy and understanding. Whether it's a weekly date night, daily check-ins, or shared hobbies, these rituals create a space for couples to share feelings, thoughts, and experiences.

  2. Predictability and Stability: Rituals add predictability and stability to a relationship. In the midst of life's uncertainties, having established rituals creates a sense of security and assurance. Knowing that certain activities are consistently part of the relationship routine can reduce stress and anxiety.

  3. Shared Identity: Engaging in rituals creates a shared identity and history for the couple. Whether it's a special anniversary celebration or a monthly ritual, these shared experiences contribute to the couple's narrative, reinforcing their connection and commitment to each other.

  4. Communication: Rituals facilitate communication by providing a dedicated space for open and honest dialogue. Regular check-ins, shared activities, or specific rituals like a weekly "State of the Union" can enhance communication skills and help address any issues in a supportive environment.

  5. Conflict reduction: couples that feel closer and emotionally connected experience, less discord and fighting.

Now that we’ve answered the “What” and “Why” we can take a look at “How” with examples of how rituals may look in life:

  1. Weekly Date Night: Set aside a specific night each week for a date. It could be a romantic dinner, a movie night, or any activity you both enjoy. Research has shown that couples who exercise together have greater relationship satisfaction. runs, gym, snowboarding, hiking, walking, biking, golfing etc. are great ways to make this happen.

  2. Daily Check-Ins: Take a few minutes each day to share your thoughts, experiences, or simply check in on each other's well-being. Couples can choose to do this over coffee, tea, on the deck, or walking. One tip is to to use the netflix approach: what do you feel like hearing about my day today? A challenge, a funny moment, a sad moment, an angry moment, or an exciting moment. (if its a struggle to check in without disagreeing you may be in a meta-emotion mismatch)

  3. Shared Hobbies: Find activities you both enjoy and make time for them regularly. Whether it's cooking together, gardening, or playing board games, shared hobbies strengthen your connection.

  4. Travel Rituals: Create traditions around travel, such as an annual getaway or exploring new places together. These shared adventures build lasting memories. I like to use the Gottmans’ general rule of 3 weekends away from the kids per year as well as week long stints when children are older.

Disconnections impact on rituals

Sometimes couples describe not feeling like being around their partner or being frustrated and feeling disconnected when trying to do something together. Other couples report drifting apart and not knowing how to create or restart rituals. 

In these cases, there are often underlying trust issues, attachment issues, or disillusionment that needs exploration and remedy before starting to re-engage with rituals of connection.

Or maybe there are ineffective conflict patterns that are making you feel angry or resentful and make it difficult to do shared activities. If any of these scenarios reflect your relationship you can call 250-362-5035 or book in online:

And we can figure out how to get your relationship back on track and working for you.

In Conclusion

Rituals of Connection are powerful tools for nurturing and maintaining a healthy relationship. By incorporating intentional and meaningful habits into your routine, you can enhance emotional intimacy, communication, and overall relationship satisfaction. Whether big or small, these rituals contribute to the foundation of a strong, fulfilling partnership.

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